Shipping an Idea

One day, you will either say "I'm glad I did" or "I wish I had". - Zig Ziglar

The process of transforming a dream into a reality is hard and strenuous. Anyone can dream and have a great idea. Turning that into a tangible product is a completely different issue.

Every day millions of people come up with ideas to change the world. But how many people act on them?

The world is full of people with great ideas burning inside them. The problem is that they stay inside. They never make it to reality. We all have a friend (or maybe it is us) who have an idea they have talked about doing for years, yet it never shifts from and idea to an item.

We want our idea to be perfect before we ship. We spend days, month, or years working on it, only to fail to ship when the time comes. Why?

Shipping makes your idea a reality. It forces it out of your mind and into life. It allows it to grow and morph outside your brain.

 A 100% idea kept inside is worse than an 80% idea that shipped to the public. When you ship an idea, you start the feedback loop. You tweak and adjust. You gain confidence. You make mistakes that you learn from. 

An idea kept in your head is a theory. It is not a product. Theories are useful, but they need to be tested. Shipping is the method to test your idea. It's not perfect, but its out there. You have accomplished something remarkable by making it that far. It is more than most people will do.

Before you start shipping every idea in your head, understand that not all ideas are worth pursuing. If we acted upon every idea we had, chaos would be the result. Unfinished projects would dot the landscape like broken tree limbs after a hurricane.

To get something you want, you must give up something you have.

If an idea is worth pursuing, what will you give up to make it happen? Time? Money? Other ideas?

The real question is why are ideas left incomplete? What causes great ideas to be abandoned?


Fear of the unknown. Fear of judgment from others. Fear of financial stability. Fear of anything you do not already know.

It is hard to accept an idea until it is a reality.

Once the idea has traction, fear shifts to anticipation.

Anticipation is an easy bandwagon to get on. Many people do that. Since others have thrown support behind it, I should join the crowd.

But will you step out before the crowd and champion an idea in the face of risk and uncertainty?


What idea do you have that needs to ship?